Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Whirlwind of Ideas

This is the last week of the Canvas Network course I'm facilitating, Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds. It has been such a whirlwind of ideas that have brought me back to discussions again and again -- finding something new each time. It is like taking a walk on a beach in the morning and finding some shells, and then taking a walk the next day and collecting another beautiful basket of shells.
Photo: John Falconer - Tacoma at dusk
I don't exactly know what I was "expecting" in this course -- I spent several months planning and designing it. From scratch. (More on that in a future post!)  I guess the main thing I was hoping was that it made sense and people found it useful.  Beyond that, my inner hope is always the people become inspired.  It is obvious that they have. I feel so happy I practically skip to my computer.

I also wasn't expecting how much the course would teach me, or what kind of seeds would be planted. Everyone was excited to see how international we are: our pinmap project shows that we are truly global. We started a Faeebook page that immediately became quite active: It is open for anyone interested in Hybrid teaching and learning to join; Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds.  And our "Six-word" wordwall  shows  the enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of the participants:  Derrick Logan's "Aging Educator still hungry for knowledge" stands out to me as representative of the kinds of people who continue to expand and learn in the MOOC environment.

Partway through the course I saw a need for students to be released from trying to read Every. Single. Post. and to understand how to navigate this huge cocktail-party of discussions. I wrote a post for MOOC News and Reviews about how to navigate large discussion forums:  Engaging in MOOC Discussion Forums: The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower  based on what I saw happening in the course.  And a student in the course, Randy Orwin, wrote a post,  MOOC Overload! that addresses the how-tos of understanding how the forums work in the Canvas network.  Several students wrote blogs: Martine Reverda has reflections on the course at  My MOOC Experiences and Cathy Anderson wrote on her Cathy Anderson Blog.  Tweeting went on as well via #CNHyBest.  (Where did I learn about the benefits of tweeting? In another Canvas Network course on social media that I took early this year.)

MOOCs are empowering because the focus is on learning, and this allows learners to have a chance inspire each other. We are all winning.